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Goldman Sachs remains positive for 2021 despite bleak music industry estimates

Goldman Sachs’ annual report on the music industry has estimated live music, recorded music, and publishing will pull in a combined $57.5bn in 2020 globally, down about 29 per cent from its original forecast.

The ‘Music in the Air’ report by the investment bank and research firm, said it is lowering original forecasts for live music by 76 per cent due to the COVID-19 outbreak, to $7bn, though remains positive about a recovery in 2021 led by live events.

The total income in 2019 was $75bn and the firm said it expects global industry revenue to skyrocket to around $140bn by 2030, driven by live shows and music streaming.

The report is also lowering its 2020 estimates for the publishing market by 5 per cent to $6bn, and for the recorded music market by 8 per cent, down to $20.8bn.

Goldman Sachs’ long-term growth forecast predicts a 26-per-cent rise in 2021 and an 18-per-cent increase in 2022, with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) settling in at 6 per cent for the period of 2019 to 2030.

“We expect a strong rebound in outer years, with the live music industry nearly returning to its pre-COVID-19 level by 2022,” Goldman’s research team, led by media and Internet equity research managing director Lisa Yang, writes in the report, according to Rolling Stone.

The team also expects the circumstances of the pandemic to accelerate already-in-place “structural shifts” in music, such as a rise in paid streaming.

Goldman Sachs adds in the report: “While user time spent may shift away from music streaming to other forms of entertainment in the short term, overall we believe the industry’s long-term growth outlook is intact, driven by the secular growth of paid streaming, growing demand for music content and live events, new licensing opportunities, e.g. TikTok, and positive regulatory developments.”